Complaints procedure

We are committed to providing quality services that reflect the needs of our customers.

We value complaints and use this information from them to help us improve our services.

If something goes wrong or you are dissatisfied with our services, please tell us.  

View or download the Complaints procedure leaflet

What is a complaint?

We regard a complaint as any expression of dissatisfaction about our action or lack of action, or about the standard of service provided by us or on our behalf.

What you can complain about?

You can complain about things like:

  • delays in responding to your enquiries and requests
  • failure to provide a service
  • our standard of service
  • Council policy
  • treatment by or attitude of a member of staff
  • our failure to follow proper procedure.

Your complaint may involve more than one Council service or be about someone working on our behalf.

What you can’t complain about.

There are some things we can’t deal with through our complaints handling procedure.

These include:

  • a routine first-time request for a service, for example a first-time request for a housing repair or action on antisocial behaviour
  • requests for compensation from the Council
  • things that are covered by a right of appeal. 

Here are some examples:

  • If you are dissatisfied with the level of priority you have been given when applying for a house, you have the right to appeal against the decision.
  • If your planning application is refused, you have a right of appeal to Scottish Ministers within 6months of the decision.
  • If you believe your house is incorrectly valued for council tax, you can appeal to the Assessor.

If other procedures or rights of appeal can help you resolve your concerns, we will give information and advice to help you.

Services provided on the council’s behalf

Your complaint may be about a service being provided on behalf of the council. Our service providers require to have their own complaints procedure which mirrors our complaints procedure and they are expected to provide complaints performance information to the council.

Customers using these services are normally encouraged to use the provider's complaints procedure. As an alternative, and in certain circumstances, you can request that your complaint is routed through the council.

Who can complain?

Anyone can make a complaint to us, including the representative of someone who is dissatisfied with our service. 

How to complain

You can complain in any of the following ways:

  • Online - comments compliments & complaints form
  • Phone: 01786 404040 calls are recorded to help improve services (Translation Services available)
  • Email Us
  • Post: Stirling Council Complaints, Complaints Team, Freepost, 14-20- Pitt Terrace, Old Viewforth, Stirling FK8 2ET 

We will try to deal with your complaint as quickly as possible. 

When complaining, please tell us:

  • your full name, address, phone number and/or email address
  • as much detail as possible about the complaint
  • what has gone wrong and what you would like us to do to put it right 

How long do I have to make a complaint?

  • Normally, you must make your complaint within 6 months of the event you want to complain about, or
  • finding out that you have a reason to complain,
  • but no longer than 12 months after the event itself.

In exceptional circumstances, we may be able to accept a complaint after the time limit. If you feel that the time limit should not apply to your complaint, please tell us why.

What happens when I have complained? 

We will always tell you who is dealing with your complaint and when you should expect to receive a reply. 

Getting help to make your complaint.

We understand that you may be unable, or reluctant, to make a complaint yourself. We accept complaints from the representative of a person who is dissatisfied with our service.  We can take complaints from a friend, relative, or an advocate, if you have given them consent to complain for you.

You can find out about advocates in your area by contacting the Scottish Independent Advocacy Alliance.

Scottish Independent Advocacy Alliance

Tel: 0131 524 1975

Website: www.siaa.org.uk

Our complaints procedure has two stages:

Stage 1 – front line resolution

We aim to resolve complaints quickly and close to where we provided the service. This could mean an on-the-spot apology and explanation if something has clearly gone wrong, and immediate action to resolve the problem.

We will give you our decision at Stage 1 in 5 working days or less, unless there are exceptional circumstances.

If we can’t resolve your complaint at this stage, we will explain why and tell you what you can do next. We might suggest that you take your complaint to Stage 2. You may choose to do this immediately or some time after you get our initial decision. 

Stage two – investigation

Stage 2 deals with two types of complaint:those that have not been resolved at Stage 1 and those that are complex and require detailed investigation. 

When using Stage 2 we will:

  • acknowledge receipt of your complaint within 3 working days
  • where appropriate, discuss your complaint with you 
  • give you a full response to the complaint as soon as possible and within 20 working days.

If our investigation will take longer than 20 working days, we will tell you. We will agree revised time limits with you and keep you updated on progress.

What if I’m still dissatisfied?

After we have fully investigated, if you are still dissatisfied with our decision or the way we dealt with your complaint, you can ask the Scottish Public Services Ombudsman (SPSO) to look at it.

The SPSO cannot normally look at:

  • a complaint that has not completed our complaints procedure (so please make sure it has done so before contacting the SPSO)
  • events that happened, or that you became aware of, more than a year ago
  • a matter that has been or is being considered in court.
  • complaints from Community Councils (a Community Council is not a "member of the public" under the terms of the Scottish Public Services Ombusman Act 2002 and so the SPSO cannot accept complaints from Community Councils. Community Councils may however, complain on behalf of a member of the public with the persons written consent for them to act on their behalf.

You can contact the SPSO:

Postal contact (no stamp required): Freepost SPSO

Freephone: 0800 377 7330 

Online contact: www.spso.org.uk/contact-us 

Website: www.spso.org.uk

Mobile site: http://m.spso.org.uk

Social Work complaints

All complaints made about Social Work services are responded to through our 2 stage complaints handling process.

In addition for services that are registered with the Care Inspectorate, including registered services provided on our behalf by another agency, you can choose to make your complaint to the Care Inspectorate or the agency directly.

Care complaints

If your complaint relates to a care service we provide, you can choose whether to complain to us or the

Care Inspectorate. You can find out more about their complaints procedure, or make a complaint,by contacting them.

Contact Details for the Care Inspectorate can be found on their website:

Please refer to: Care Inspectorate

Telephone 0845 600 9527

Email enquiries@careinspectorate.com 

Schools Learning and Education complaints 

Schools Learning and Education complaints should be referred to the school in the first instance as a stage 1 complaint If the complaint is not resolved at school level it can be escalated to a formal investigation by asking the head of school or nursery to move the complaint to stage 2 complaint or by emailing us.

Procurement complaints

Please contact the council's Procurement team in the first instance by emailing us

Further advice on making a complaint about procurement is available from the Scottish Government's Single Point of Enquiry

Factoring complaints

If you have a complaint about our property management and are not happy with how we have investigated it and responded to you, you can contact the Housing and Property Chamber.  They work to resolve complaints and disputes between their home owners and their property managers/factors. 

Contact the HOPC

Tel:0141 302 5900

or by emailing them

Complaints in relation to the Clackmannanshire & Stirling Integration Joint Board 

Clackmannanshire and Stirling Integration Joint Board’s [IJB] definition of a complaint is: 

'An expression of dissatisfaction by one or more members of the public about  the IJB’s action or lack of action, or about the standard of service the IJB has provided in fulfilling its responsibilities as set out in the Integration Scheme'.  

A complaint may relate to dissatisfaction with:

  • the IJB’s policies
  • the IJB’s decisions
  • the administrative or decision-making processes followed by IJB in coming to a decision 

If you wish to make a complaint in relation to the Integration Joint Board, you can do so in the following ways: 

In writing

Clackmannanshire & Stirling H&SCI Partnership

4th Floor
Kilncraigs
Greenside Street
Alloa

FK101EB

By email

By sending an email

For further information please refer to the Integration Joint Board Complaints Handling Procedure

or visit the Integration Joint Board’s webpage

Equal Opportunities

Stirling Council is committed to ensuring that no one is discriminated against on grounds of

  • age,
  • disability,
  • gender reassignment,
  • pregnancy and maternity,
  • race,
  • religion or belief,
  • sex,
  • sexual orientation
  • or for any other reason.

If you think you have been treated less favourably, please make this clear in your complaint.

Complaints to SPSO about Stirling Council - Statistics 2011/12

Further information…

Rate this page

Related Pages